The last day of September saw the reopening of the Anse Mondon trail on Silhouette island.
On this occasion, a group of notable Seychellois personalities, Hilton guests and staff and IDC staff, accompanied by the press were present to inaugurate the trail.
Ms. Michelle Murray, the Chief Executive Oﬃcer of Island Conservation Society had the honor of cutting the ribbon symbolizing the oﬃcial reopening of the trail.
This was followed by a hike lead by the General Manager of Hilton Labriz Resort & Spa, Mr. Andre Borg.
The three-kilometre-long hike leads through the lush rain forest towards the north of the island and oﬀers an amazing view over Silhouette’s wild coastline and the bay of Anse Mondon.
Islands Development Company (IDC), Island Conservation Society (ICS) and Hilton Labriz Resort & Spa have been working side by side for many months to ensure the safety of the hiking trail while trying to protect the island’s many endemic plants and animals.
New signboards for guidance and information about flora & fauna have been erected along the trail for hikers and nature lovers to discover the stunning sights and spectacular views.
Anse Mondon is one of three trails on Silhouette.
The development plan stipulates IDC’s priorities and targets for the next five years with details of existing services, the current state of the islands and future plans.
Speaking to the press, IDC’s Chief Executive Officer, Glenny Savy said that the main objective for the next five years is to establish infrastructure on the islands of Providence and Cosmoledo which are currently inhabited.
“Our priority is to build an airfield on Providence. The island is inhabited since cyclone Bondo struck in 2006 causing significant damage. The has always been to have a runway on Providence but IDC did not have the financial resources for such a project. The sand composition on Providence is extremely fine and thus we need to have a hard surface,” explained Mr. Savy.
The project is expected to be completed by June 2019 at a cost of R14 million. The government has contributed R5 million towards the project, while IDC will finance the remaining R9 million.
Once the airfield is complete other infrastructure will be established on the island.
A second island which IDC is proposing to develop is Cosmoledo which will also be equipped with a runway and certain infrastructure.
“Every island is quite different. There are islands under our responsibility which we have decided to keep in its natural state. For instance, Farquhar is a group of islands and we only plan to develop one while the others will be left in their natural state,” Mr. Savy said.
He added that some islands are ideal for agriculture, others for tourism purposes while others are most suited to aqua-culture.
IDC has already drawn up four land use plans for Coetivy, Desroches, Poivre and Farquhar detailing what activities will take place on each island. In addition, IDC will tender out some of the work to the private sector.
“Individuals and companies in the private sector who may be interested in developing the islands or undertaking activities there such as tourism, agriculture or aqua-culture will have an opportunity to do so.”
A search and rescue operation has started to locate the missing crew of the Sea Horse following a fire on board the vessel in the early hours of the morning.
The cargo vessel operated by Islands Development Company (IDC) left Mahe on Friday with fuel and food supplies for the Prison Services on Coetivy.
The vessel, which was being manned by a crew of 5 arrived on the island yesterday evening and remained on anchor some 200 metres from the shore, waiting for the high tide to start offloading the cargo. This was planned for today.
Thus far, only one crew member has been found and according to information he provided the fire started on the cargo deck.
Upon noticing the fire, he jumped into the sea and swam towards the island and while he was swimming he was picked up by one of the boats from the island.
The island personnel continued searching for the remaining crew members until the arrival of the military Dornier for search and rescue assistance.
Actually, an IDC plane and a military plane are searching the areas around Coetivy island for the missing crew members. 3 boats from the island are also helping in the search, while the Coast Guard is displacing its naval vessels to assist in the search.
IDC has also sent its medical personnel to Coetivy, in the early hours of this morning.
IDC is in touch with all family members of the crew.
Perseverance Point Condominium being developed by Green Tree Investment Company Ltd, a subsidiary of GICC, in partnership with the Ministry of Habitat, Infrastructure and Land Transport, welcomed its first residents last week. The owners were presented with the keys to their homes during a ceremony held on site on Saturday 11th August 2018.
This block comprises of 10 three-bedroom apartments furnished with built in wardrobes, vanities for the bathrooms, kitchen cabinets, a cooker, washing machine and solar water heaters. In addition, DSTV connection has also been installed.
The new homeowners have expressed great satisfaction with the quality of work on the units and the amount of living space available, which they claim is great value for money.
Construction work on a second block of three bedroom apartments for young professionals first time home buyers has started and the first two-bedroom block is expected to start in December 2018.
From then on, new blocks will be built as and when the Ministry confirms buyers for the units. Once all the blocks are completed, the Condominiums will be within a gated and secured estate with proper management of the common areas through a Management Corporation set up with all the buyers and the developer. Each unit will have one parking bay, while additional parking space will be available for visitors.
A three-bedroom unit for graduates and professionals in the first block is being sold at SR. 1.5 million and a two bedroom at SR. 1.2 million. The floor area for a three-bedroom apartment is 130 m² and the two bedroom is 102 m².
The Estate will also comprise of furnished luxury condominium units for the open market and the mock up should be ready for viewing by October 2018.
As part of activities to commemorate World Environment Day (June 5th), IDC presented a copy of the second edition of the book ‘Outer Islands of Seychelles-Zil Elwannyen Sesel’ to President Danny Faure. This was during a ceremony at State House, to officially launch the Aldabra clean-up project.
“Mr. President, let me take this opportunity to thank you for the interest that you are showing in the development of the islands. The visits that you have started have allowed us to show you firsthand what we do on the islands, how we do it and more importantly, why we do it the way we do. Your comments, ideas and suggestions throughout the visits are valuable to us and will help us build on what we are doing” said Mr. Savy in his address.
The Aldabra clean-up project brings together a team of 6 Seychellois volunteers with 6 Oxford University scholars who will conduct an intensive clean-up expedition starting from March 2019.
During the ceremony, it was announced that alongside the Aldabra clean-up project, IDC will also undertake an extensive clean-up exercise on Assomption and Astove. The two islands form part of the Aldabra group.
The launching of the project at State House was held in the presence of President Danny Faure, the Patron of the Seychelles Islands Foundation and other stakeholders.
IDC has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Seychelles Meteorological Authority for the installation of automatic weather stations on eight islands.
This agreement was signed by the Chief Executive of IDC, Glenny Savy, and the Chief Executive of the Seychelles Meteorological Authority, Vincent Amelie during a ceremony to mark IDC’s 38th anniversary.
Under the agreement, IDC will finance the installation of weather stations on Alphonse, Assomption, Astove, Coëtivy, Cosmoledo, Farquhar, Providence, and Silhouette.
Mr. Savy described the signature as another milestone for IDC since the setting up of the weather stations will result in better data collection for weather forecasting and will provide IDC with accurate information for its flights.
On his part, Mr. Amelie explained that the weather stations, especially those that will be installed on the outer islands, will be important for recording and collecting data about the climate of the southern islands.
“All the information we have recorded over the years have always been collected on Mahé and the inner islands. This has made it difficult to make weather predictions for the outer islands”.
The weather stations are expected to cost approximately R250,000 and the first station will be set up on Farquhar in one month’s time.
Another highlight of the celebrations was the official launch of the second edition of the ‘Outer Islands of Seychelles - Zil Elwannye Sesel’ book, authored by Adrian Skerrett.
It is an updated version of the first edition with supplementary maps, diagrams, stories and interviews added on to its original content.
Also launched was IDC’s revamped website which has been designed by Malinda Skerrett in such a way as to offer a better browsing experience for users.
The newly restored iconic plantation house originally built by the French Dauban family in the 1860s, reopened after some six months’ restoration works.
Together with the reopening of the Grann Kaz was also that of a new history museum set up in the living room of the old house.
An initiative of Richard Touboul, cultural attaché of the department of culture, the museum showcases a number of rare artefacts and documents retracing the history of Seychelles and that of Silhouette. Other than the history museum on the ground floor, on the upper floor, which used to be the sleeping quarters, there is now an exhibition showcasing the Dauban family through a collection of photographs, short write-ups and artefacts.
Renovation work on the house has been carried out by Islands Development Company.
The Minister for Youth, Sports and Culture Mitcy Larue officially cut the ribbon in the presence of the Minister responsible for tourism Maurice Loustau-Lalanne and the General Manager of Hilton Seychelles Labriz Resort & Spa Andre Borg.
“I am happy that we have managed to repair the damages to the house caused by the extreme climate on the island by retaining its original walls and floors” commented Mr. Borg.
He explains that the kitchen on the ground floor has also been restored to continue providing the Grann Kaz restaurant with authentic Creole cuisine.
“The Grann Kaz and its restaurant and now museum is open to the Seychellois public and the management is currently working on a concept and package to make it more accessible to the locals to come and enjoy for instance Sunday lunches and visit the museum and the island as a whole” he concluded.
IDC attaches great of importance to cultural heritage on the islands and the Silhouette Grann Kaz is a great source of pride.
President Danny Faure visited Marie Louise island to witness the signing of an agreement which establishes the basis for cooperation and assistance between Island Development Company (IDC) and Island Conservation Society (ICS) to conserve, restore, and enhance the ecosystems of Marie Louise, together with the associated marine environment.
The agreement was signed by the Chairman of ICS, Mr. Adrian Skerrett, Chief Executive Officer of IDC, Mr. Glenny Savy, and representing the Minister of Environment, Energy, and Climate Change, Minister Maurice Loustau-Lalanne.
The President welcomed the signing of this agreement which paves the way for Marie Louise to provide facilities for local tourism, excursions for tourists, and provide environment conservation activities for students from various schools.
The programmes, monitoring and evaluation, and management plans will be under the responsibility of the Island Conservation Society, and funded by IDC's annual budget commencing 1 April 2018.
After witnessing the signing, President Faure toured the island to see its existing facilities and was briefed on future developments.
The President also visited Poivre and Remire to familiarise himself with the islands and review their proposed development plans going forward.
The Four Seasons Resort Seychelles at Desroches Island will today open its doors to the first guests to the island since the previous resort closed over two years ago.
Featuring a total of 71 accommodations, the brand new Four Seasons resort offers a choice of beach bungalows, villas and suites and multi-bedroom residences, all with private pool and direct beach access.
For dining, panoramic sunset views are offered at the new Lighthouse restaurant, while Mediterranean fare is served at the all-day dining Claudine restaurant and a poolside bar and Deli provide further options for culinary refreshment.
The organic Circle of Connection Spa with five treatment suites and a beauty salon is the place for island goers to unwind, as the perfect complement to the many resort activities available.
Opportunities for island adventures include world-class diving and fishing, cycling along 15 kilometres of forested pathways, guided nature walks with the Island Conservation Society and learning more about the unique Seychelles flora, fauna and sea life at the new, interactive Discovery Centre.
General manager Edward Linsley commented: “I’m so immensely proud of our entire team and what we have achieved. Desroches is an incredibly special island and I cannot wait to welcome our first guests to discover this destination and to experience first-hand the passion, dedication and warmth of our team who have worked so hard together to make this dream a reality.”
Through recruitment drives and advertising, both locally and internationally, the resort has employed over 200 staff from 39 nationalities, including a significant proportion of Seychellois at all levels. Three local team members from the existing Four Seasons Resort on Mahé have furthered their career in the Housekeeping and Front Office departments by transferring to Desroches, while Seychellois chef, Joel Laporte, who previously transferred to Four Seasons Hotel Abu Dhabi has returned to his home country to join the pre-opening team as a Demi Chef de Partie.
Marc Bonnelame, human resources manager commented: “We have put together a great team full of talented individuals and it is exciting for all of us to be part of such a historic opening. For me as Seychellois, I am proud to be working with such a renowned international brand and to be able to extend the same opportunity to other Seychellois.”
Further information on Four Seasons Resort Seychelles at Desroches Island, plus detailed rates and availability can be found by contacting the reservations team at firstname.lastname@example.org, calling +248 4393000 or by visiting the website www.fourseasons.com/seychellesdesroches.
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